Sammy Hagar and the Circle with Collective Soul | 08.15.15

sammy hagar_75Sammy and The Circle have proven once again, there’s only one way to rock.




sammy-hagar 500

There’s a definite love between St. Louis and “the red rocker” Sammy Hagar. This was even more evident Saturday night when a sea of red took over Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre. For the first 2,500 people through the gate, radio station K-SHE 95 was gifting light-up hats and tubular red lights.

Opening with “There’s Only One Way to Rock,” the band had high energy from the beginning of the set. With an all-star band, including Michael Anthony (Van Halen, Chickenfoot), Jason Bonham (son of deceased Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham), and Vic Johnson (who has been with Hagar since 1997), the musicianship was incredible.

You might think Hagar would shy away from playing songs from his days with Van Halen, seeing as this was a solo tour. Instead, he celebrated the collaboration, playing hits like “Right Now,” “Why Can’t This Be Love,” and “Finish What You Started.”

The band also treated the audience with some classic Led Zeppelin tunes like “Whole Lotta Love” and “Rock and Roll,” during which Collective Soul lead vocalist Ed Roland joined Hagar and company onstage.

Donning two different St. Louis Cardinals baseball jerseys, Hagar rocked the stage. With a plethora of material to choose from, some fans were bound to be disappointed since Hagar wouldn’t be able to play every song he’s made. Tunes like “Three Lock Box,” “I’ll Fall in Love Again,” and “Plain Jane” were absent, but tribute was paid to Hagar’s first band, Montrose, with the sweet tune “Rock Candy.”

The band was in incredible form, and they really seemed to be happy doing what they do. Guitarist Johnson played with aplomb, especially the Van Halen tracks. Then, it was onto classics like the theme from the movie Heavy Metal, and “I Can’t Drive 55.”

As one of the encores, Hagar and Johnson performed a beautiful acoustic version of Van Halen’s “Dreams Are Made Of.” Said Hagar from the stage, “When we broke the song down like this, it brought so much new meaning. It brought tears to my eyes.”

Sammy Hagar and St. Louis go together like peanut butter and jelly. He plays music because it is in his blood. After more than 35 years in the business, Hagar has retained his love for his craft, and especially for his fans.

Opening the show was Collective Soul. The Georgia-based band played a great set, showcasing songs from their upcoming album, as well as delivering hits like “Shine” and “The World I Know.” The band has more of a rock edge in a live setting, and it comes across very well.

Overall, it was a very enjoyable show. Sammy and The Circle have proven once again, there’s only one way to rock. | Marc Farr

About Marc Farr 244 Articles
Marc Farr is the Live Music & Assignments Editor of PLAYBACK:stl. He's so invaluable to us, we've nicknamed him Mr. Music. Reach out if you have coverage ideas! "I know it's only rock and roll...but I like it!"
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